The Bear Inn Hotel


With its Tudor houses, ancient church towers and surrounding nature reserves, the Shropshire village of Hodnet lives up to its name: the Old Welsh for ‘peaceful valley’. The Bear Inn, located at its heart, has been cherished by the community for over five centuries, but it was a recent renovation – courtesy of Tom Heber-Percy, owner of historic Hodnet Hall – that put it on the culinary map. A seasonal menu offers a refined take on pub favourites and is well worthy of its three AA Rosettes. Local produce is central to it all, with veg picked fresh from the Hall’s 200-year-old walled garden, butcher’s cuts from the inn’s own cattle and Shropshire ales on tap.

Expect the likes of pigeon breast with cabbage and Tunworth mash, or butternut wellington with beetroot, pesto and onion sauce, and cherry Bakewell with Earl Grey ice cream to finish. Ask to sit in the courtyard or book a stable-style private dining area; a curated ‘Wines of the Month’ list will keep your thirst quenched all the while.

The Bear’s 12 rooms exude a similar blend of comfort and elegance. Split between the inn and the adjoining coach house, each is named after a tree, with burnt oranges and forest greens complementing playful patterns and eclectic art. Village life is best observed from the Yew Room, or browse the Juniper Suite’s literary collection before heading up to the mezzanine bedroom with its botanical-print wallpapers. Nearby, Hawkstone Park Follies await exploration after a full regional breakfast.

Doubles from £125 including breakfast. 01630 685214,

Words by Jasmina Matulewicz.

This review featured in the June 2022 issue of Food and Travel. To subscribe today, click here.

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